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State University recognizes three SUNY Upstate faculty for scientific achievement

Three State University of New York (SUNY) Upstate Medical University faculty members have been recognized by SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King as New York's most important and innovative scientists for their research in medicine, public health, genetics, engineering, environmental studies, physics, computer science and other fields.

Richard L. Cross, Ph.D., of the Town of Onondaga, Maxwell M. Mozell, Ph.D., of Syracuse and Steven Scheinman, M.D., of Hamilton, were honored this month at a ceremony at State University Plaza in Albany. Thirty-five other SUNY faculty from across the state were also honored.

"These faculty members of the State University of New York are working to make scientific breakthroughs that will prevent or heal medical disorders and ailments, protect the environment, create new pharmaceuticals and help us understand the origins of the universe," said Chancellor King. "They represent SUNY's world-class faculty that have garnered more than $700 million for 9,000 research projects supporting 21,000 jobs in New York state," he added.

Richard L. Cross, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, a position he has held since 1982. His current research is in energy transducing membrane systems: the mechanism and regulation of ATP synthesis by oxidative phosphorylation, specifically, how cells burn fuel (i.e. sugars and fats) to produce energy.

He is supported by a merit award from the National Institutes of Health for his work regarding the structure and mechanism of FoF1-ATP Synthases. Cross did his postdoctoral training at the U.C.L.A. Molecular Biology Institute, where he worked in the laboratory of professor Paul D. Boyer who has since received the Nobel Prize for his work on ATPases. Cross's long-term interactions with Boyer played a significant role in that achievement. Cross is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and the Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes.

Maxwell M. Mozell, Ph.D., is professor of neuroscience and physiology and dean of the College of Graduate Studies. His field of interest is olfaction, the sense of smell, and he has held an National Institute of Health (NIH) grant for 40 years. Mozell served as the chair of the International Commission on Olfaction and Taste from 1984-1991 and has won several prestigious awards including the Manheimer Award in Recognition of Career Achievements in the Chemosensory Sciences, the Sense of Smell Award from the Fragrance Research Fund, and the Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the NIH. In 1978 he founded the North American Society for the Chemical Senses.

Steven Scheinman, M.D., is professor of medicine. He is an authority on genetic causes of renal diseases of electrolyte transport, and on the genetics of kidney stones. His research has been funded by the NIH, the American Heart Association, and other agencies since he joined the faculty at Upstate in 1984. He and his group described a new disease in a family from Watertown, N.Y., which they called "X-linked nephrolithiasis with renal failure," also known as Dent's disease. They characterized the disease clinically, mapped the responsible gene, and have identified mutations in scores of patients from around the world. A member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Scheinman has served on numerous review groups and committees for the NIH, American Heart Association, American Society of Nephrology, and other organizations.